SSS Day 5, shaping up my Fall sewing plans

Dress: Rooibos in poplin, blogged here

Cardigan: Old Navy, thrifted

Shoes: Keds, also thrifted

Today I had a holiday cookout (for labor day,) and I wanted to be casual but still fun.  This dress makes me sad, because it photographs horribly, but it’s so cute in person – the polka dots just emphasize every slight wrinkle on the camera.  It’s a little shorter than I might prefer, so I usually wear it on the weekends rather than for work.  As it gets colder I plan to wear it with some brightly colored tights, which I think will solve the length issue.  These shoes are some of my favorites – platform sneakers are so fun somehow!  I love this color combo – classic navy and white with red.  In fact, my current dress project involves all three shades!

I’m making the Kwik Sew mock 2 piece dress that I posted about earlier this summer.  I washed my red silk/cotton in order to remove some of the sheen (it was really shiny, and I wanted a day dress. ) The top fabric is the result, and the bottom is the wrong side of the fabric.  I like the washed, slightly sueded look of the top right side, so I’ve decided to use that for my skirt.  I have more of this fabric, in a darker red, which I plan to not wash and turn into a fun shiny skirt for fall, using this pattern.

I’m still making plans too.  I mentioned before that I wanted to make a Chanel jacket, but now I’m ready to show my fabric!

It’s a beautiful tweed.  I’m using the vogue pattern on the left and either the version with the tie neck or the long version… I will wait and see the length. The jacket on the right is my inspiration.  It uses a self fabric fringe.  It also appears to have a sheer polka dot organza fabric as a ruffled trim, and attached to ribbons at the sleeves (I really like that touch!)  I’m planing to copy those features.  I bought a charcoal silk for the lining, and I’m going to quilt it using instructions from Threads magazine (I bought 10 years of back issues at a yard sale this summer, and they are so useful!)

I hit the labor day sale at Joann’s yesterday.  It wasn’t super exciting, but they did have patterns on sale, and some new fabric collections with a 10% off everything, even sale items coupon.  I got two knit prints and patterns to go with them, from their new collection (which is all jewel tones – lovely!)

Rayon jersey in deep teal with a subtle print.  This is one of my favorite colors.  I want to make this Mccall’s pattern, and I’m not sure yet whether I want the skinny sleeves or the balloon ones.  I’m going to make this short to wear with tights or leggings.

Matte Jersey for this Palmer/pletsch dress.   Probably the non-wrap style, but I’m not decided yet.

I picked up a few patterns that I had been waiting for sales on.

I have a black gabardine to make the tracy reese skirt, and a silk crepe jacquard to make the blouse.  I bought the pleated vogue tunic thinking it would be great in a knit, but after reading the reviews of it I’m not so sure…  The cowl neck is a nice basic, and I want to make one of those long drawstring shirts which I’m seeing for fall.  I want a plaid, but I can’t seem to find any great plaids that aren’t flannel.  Maybe later in the year there will be some.

The knit dresses and shirts are needed in my wardrobe – I don’t want to replace my storebought ones, but they are getting on in years.  I can already tell that this month will be a challenge in terms of shirts – I only have two self made ones, and I am so very bad to just make more dresses instead!  I would feel bad about buying so much fabric, but to be honest I don’t really have a winter fabric stash (and not so much summer either) so it’s necessary!

My husband always says “Don’t you have a pattern like that?”  I always answer “Yes, but not this one!”  I think I almost like planning for sewing as much as I like sewing.  It’s so fun to plan and dream about projects that sometimes I forget to make time to actually sew!

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Wardrobe truthiness (and a blog award!)

It is becoming clear to me that there will be many lessons learned during this month of wearing handmade clothes.  The first?  It’s ok to admit that something isn’t working for you.  Here is today’s outfit:

Sweater: Blithe, designed by Kim Hargreaves.  Blogged here.

Jeans: NY & Co flares

Shoes: Anne Klein

Another lesson to be learned: as in a catalog, a funny pose from me probably means that something is wrong.  I liked this sweater after I finished knitting it, but then it sat unloved in my drawer.  I had a few requests to use handknits this month, and while I don’t have as many warm weather sweaters I have a few to try.  Let me tell you: this sweater does not fit, and I don’t think it ever did.  I think I used to be less picky, before I started sewing.  Now?  It makes me crazy.  Here is a head-on shot.

No,  I don’t know why I have such a crazy smile here.  Anyway, it’s too short, and the sleeves are teeny tiny, like “I feel like I’m in a straightjacket” tight.  That’s why it’s off the shoulder here, because it’s slightly more comfortable that way.  I was on my way out to the mall, in search of a concert dress.  I needed a black dress in a non-wrinkle fabric (matte jersey) that was dressy but went below my knees.  I bought one from Ralph Lauren, and we’ll see how that works – I feel super guilty not making one, but to be honest I wasn’t feeling like it – I hate deadline sewing.  After I tried on dresses I left this sweater in my bag and wore the tank top – that’s how uncomfortable it was!  I also really don’t like the way that it pulls up in the center.  So this sweater?  It’s going to be going away somewhere, to a friend with a more petite torso.

I like long shirts.  I have a long torso (but short waist) and those of you with a long torso know what I mean – it’s torture to have a shirt that just isn’t quite long enough!  I’m actually quite happy about the current trend for tunics because I never have to tug at them.

The lovely Robin over at Yarncrawl nominated me for the Beautiful blogger award.  Thanks, Robin!  Robin is definitely an inspiration, and she was so helpful to me when I started sewing!

This is another of those “share things about yourself” deals, I do love filling out a list (if I can come up with another ten!)

1.  I have no “in between” mode in housekeeping.  I’m either completely OCD about every speck of dust, or I’m a total slob.  Since I have parents and students in my house all the time now I’m trying to find a middle ground, but it’s hard!

2.   Earl Grey is my favorite tea.  I tend to like things that taste bitter or perfumey, but to be honest I started drinking it because it was what Captain Picard always got from the replicator in Star Trek.  I went for a formal tea for the first time, and when asked to make a selection I could literally only think “Earl Grey, hot!”

3.  I hate being in a house by myself at night.  I tell people it’s because of the break-in we had last year, but in truth I never liked being home alone, it’s just that the break-in reinforced that my fears weren’t actually crazy!

4.  My parents were big-time hippies, but I didn’t always live with them (I lived with my paternal Grandmother, as I’ve mentioned before.)  Because of that, I have some odd quirks – like, I’m about the most open minded person you can imagine, but I have a strangely conservative sense of style, and I’m always asking people “is my skirt too short” when it’s barely above my knees.

5.  I love “old lady” perfumes.   I hate modern scents, which either smell like overripe fruit or soap… I like the smell of soap, but it’s not making a statement, you know?  I want my perfume to say something.  My all-time favorite is Baghari by Robert Piguet.  It’s sort of powdery, with vanilla, amber, and jasmine.  It bears a similarity to Chanel no. 5, but it’s better (I love no 5, which I also own.)  The only modern perfume I wear regularly is Estee Lauder Sensuous, which is very nice, smelling of amber and woods, but not (I must say) as exciting, and I wear it when I need to be unobtrusive (yes, I have a perfume habit – I love the stuff!)

6.  I am completely fascinated by sociology, especially feminist sociology.  I took a ton of classes in college and considered a minor, but ended up transferring.  I recently discovered the blog Sociological Images, and read the whole thing.  I constantly analyze things in real life, which I will admit makes people crazy.  I read the first Twilight novel and wound up filled with feminist rage, and let me tell you how no one wanted to hear me rant on about it (but I did anyway, because that’s how I am!)

7.  I like eccentric people, the odder the better.  The first thing my husband said to me was “Want to switch Kroger cards?  You never know what they’re using that information for.”  I know so many people who strive to be normal and unnoticed… I can’t imagine living that way, and I love people who dare to be themselves no matter what society might say!

Ok, I guess I only got to seven – still, pretty good!

I hope you are all having a great weekend – I bought the dress mentioned above, had some great Indian food, and hit the Joann’s sale for some top patterns (it has become apparent already that I need some, and it’s only the 4th!)  I’ll write more about that tomorrow.